The plastic bags we use everyday are eroding the only planet on which we can live. Plastic bags pollute our water, clog our storm drains (potentially leading to flooding), and choke our wildlife. That’s all on top of the waste from a natural resources perspective. A plastic bag can take between 400 to 1,000 years to break down in the environment, which is especially crucial in the ocean, where plastic bits make up 90 percent of the manmade debris. They pollute land masses, too. And if you think paper bags are better for the environment: reconsider. Paper bags are biodegradable, sure, but aren’t necessarily welcome addtions to the landfill. Plus, making them requires cutting and processing trees. The best solution for an environmental friendly bag? Get a reusable bag, bring it everywhere, and use it again and again.

The best: BeeGreen Reusable Grocery Bags

These sturdy, easy-to-carry grocery bags are made out of rip-resistant polyester. They’re super lightweight, and fold up to fit inside a tiny square pouch that’s easy to slip into your coat pocket. The bags unfold to 15 x 16 inches in size, with a 6-inch squared bottom. They’ll hold up to 50 pounds (2-3 groceries bags) of stuff—and the handles are sized to both fit over your shoulder or carry in your hands. They’re machine washable and come in a set of five: choose from an array of muted, stylish colors, or very fun patterns like hedgehogs or cats in wigs.

More structure: Creative Green Life Reusable Grocery Shopping Boxes

These sophisticated canvas shopping bags are perfect for toting your farmer’s market bounty home. They measure 11.5 x 12.8 x 9 inches, with long cloth handles that you can carry over your shoulders. The bags support more 30 pounds of veggies (or beer) and are made from cloth and secured with metal rivets at the handles. They’re an ideal size for setting up at supermarket checkouts, and because of their upright design, they’ll slide into your car’s trunk without spilling lettuce everywhere. When not in use, they fold up flat. Choose from gray, navy blue, or a cool gray chevron.

Super sustainable: Simple Ecology Organic Cotton Reusable Shopping Bag

When you’re picking an eco-friendly bag, it makes sense to pick an extra friendly fabric like unbleached organic cotton. These reusable cotton totes are sized like standard paper grocery bags (15 x 12 x 7 inches), with six pop-out bottle sleeves to help keep your bottles from clattering. They’re available in a natural cotton shade, as well as black, blue, green, and red. For maximum durability, you might want to slip a piece of cardboard to the bottom of the bag to keep your goods upright.

Best designs: BAGGU Standard Reusable Shopping Bag


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These reusable nylon bags come in charming designs, like pink fish with green herbs on a lemon yellow background. These bags are made out of recycled fabric, and can tote up to 30 pounds when not tucked into a 7 x 7-inch square. They’re made out of ripstop nylon and are machine washable.